Ted Heindel

  • Bergles Professor of Thermal Science
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering (Courtesy)

Main Office

2018 Black Engr
Ames, IA
Phone: 515-294-0057
Fax: 515-294-3261


  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1994
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1990
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988

Interest Areas

  • X-ray flow visualization
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Multiphase flow hydrodynamics
  • Gas-liquid, gas-solid, and gas-liquid-solid multiphase flows
  • Gas-liquid mass transfer

Brief Biography

Ted Heindel is currently the Bergles Professor of Thermal Science in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University; he also holds a courtesy professor appointment in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He directs the Experimental Multiphase Flow Laboratory at ISU, which houses a unique instrument for performing X-ray visualization studies of large-scale complex fluid flows. His research currently focuses on multiphase flow hydrodynamics (e.g., mixing in gas-liquid, gas-solid, and gas-liquid-solid flows), multiphase flow visualization and characterization using X-ray imaging technology, and particle-particle mixing. This work has applications in petroleum-based and bio-based chemical and fuel processing, energy generation, food processing, agricultural waste management, pulp and paper processing, mineral processing, and wastewater treatment. Dr. Heindel’s research program has been funded by over 50 projects supported through the NSF, ONR, USDA, DOE, the State of Iowa, and industrial partners. He has co-authored one book and published over 75 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 220 conference papers, abstracts, and technical reports. Dr. Heindel is the project director for the Iowa NSF EPSCoR project “Harnessing Energy Flows in the Biosphere to Build Sustainable Energy Systems.” This $22M, five-year project involves all three Iowa Regent Institutions and has activities throughout the state of Iowa. He is also the Energy Utilization Platform leader in the Iowa NSF EPSCoR project; this platform focuses on building systems and community intervention and education to enhance energy utilization. Dr. Heindel recently completed a project funded by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence with a focus on enhancing the energy education opportunities at Iowa State. He developed a minor in energy systems that was approved in spring 2012, and he is the Director of Graduate Education for the Masters of Engineering degree in Energy Systems Engineering. In October 2012, Dr. Heindel completed a three-year, three-month appointment as the interim chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the most popular program on the Iowa State campus. During his time as Department Chair, student enrollment increased by over 30%, plans for a successful ABET review were initiated, and over nine tenured/tenure-track faculty were hired. Prior to becoming interim chair, Dr. Heindel was the Associate Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering where he chaired a department-wide strategic planning process. The outcome of this process was a faculty and staff supported roadmap identifying five strategic areas that were initiated and was highlighted by the ABET reviewer during the fall 2012 ABET visit. Dr. Heindel was in the initial cohort of ISU’s Emerging Leaders Academy, a Provost-supported program to build university leadership; he completed this year-long program in December 2009. Dr. Heindel’s teaching emphasis is in the area of thermal science (thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat/mass transfer) and measurement and instrumentation. He has also developed two new graduate-level courses: “ME 531: Advanced Energy Systems and Analysis” and “ME 585x: Fundamentals of Predictive Plant Phenomics.” He has been recognized for his teaching efforts through the College of Engineering’s Superior Engineering Teacher of the Year Award, and was twice selected by graduating seniors as mechanical engineering’s Professor of the Year. He typically supports several undergraduate research assistants in his laboratory, and has mentored 19 Freshmen Honors research participants. He currently has five graduate students and six undergraduate research assistants working in his lab. Dr. Heindel is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and active in the ASME Fluids Engineering Division. He was an associate editor of the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering for two 3-year terms (the maximum allowed by JFE) and Chair of the Fluid Measurement and Instrumentation Technical Committee for two 2-year terms. He now serves on the Fluids Engineering Division (FED) Honors and Awards Committee. He has also chaired or co-chaired several sessions at ASME conferences, and reviews papers and proposals for several journals and organizations. Dr. Heindel is a past holder of the William and Virginia Binger Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at ISU. He was an assistant professor of engineering at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) prior to joining Iowa State University in 2000. IPST was a private graduate school supported by the paper industry and located on the Georgia Tech Campus; it officially merged with Georgia Tech in 2003. Dr. Heindel received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in the thermal sciences.

Selected Publications

  • Marmur, B.L.., and Heindel, T.J., “Effects of Particle Size, Density, and Concentration on Granular Mixing in a Double Screw Pyrolyzer,” Powder Technology, 302: 222-235, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2016.08.040.
  • Whitemarsh, E.A., Escudero, D.R., and Heindel, T.J., “Probe Effects on the Local Gas Holdup Conditions in a Fluidized Bed,” Powder Technology, 294: 191-201, 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.powtec.2016.02.035
  • Escudero, D.R., and Heindel, T.J., “Characterizing Jetting in an Acoustic Fluidized Bed using X-ray Computed Tomography,” ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, 138:4, 041309-041309-9, 2016. doi:10.1115/1.4031681.
  • Kingston, T.A., Geick, T.A., Robinson, T.R., Heindel, T.J., “Characterizing 3D Granular Flow Structures in a Double Screw Mixer using X-ray Particle Tracking Velocimetry,” Powder Technology, 278: 211-222, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.powtec.2015.02.061.
  • Kadic, E., and Heindel, T.J., An Introduction to Bioreactor Hydrodynamics and Gas-Liquid Mass Transfer, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2014, http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118104013.html.
  • Kingston, T.A., Morgan, T.B., Geick, T.A., Robinson, T.R., Heindel, T.J., “A Cone-beam Compensated Back-projection Algorithm for X-ray Particle Tracking Velocimetry,” Flow Measurement and Instrumentation, 39: 64-75, 2014.
  • Kingston, T.A., Heindel, T.J., “Granular Mixing Optimization and the Influence of Operating Conditions in a Double Screw Mixer,” Powder Technology, 266: 144-155, 2014.
  • Kingston, T.A., and Heindel, T.J., “Optical Visualization and Composition Analysis to Quantify Continuous Granular Mixing Processes,” Powder Technology, 262: 257-264, 2014.
  • Escudero, D., and Heindel, T.J., “Acoustic Fluidized Bed Hydrodynamics Characterization using X-ray Computed Tomography,” Chemical Engineering Journal, 243: 411-420, 2014.
  • Halls, B.R., Heindel, T.J., Kastengren, A.L., and Meyer, T.R, “Evaluation of X-ray Sources for Quantitative Two- and Three-Dimensional Imaging of Liquid Mass Distribution in Atomizing Sprays,” International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 59(0): 113-120, 2014.